With the holiday shopping season currently in full swing, the malls are crowded and company websites are enjoying a lot more traffic than usual. People are buying gifts for loved ones and companies all across Canada are reaping the benefits. Restaurants, in particular, are having an especially good time. Not only are more and more patrons visiting restaurants for holiday parties among other celebrations, but restaurants are selling gift cards at a record pace.
At least, this is true for most restaurants. There still seems to be a number of restaurants out there that aren’t selling gift cards. They are, however, selling gift certificates – but they don’t seem to have quite the same allure as gift cards. Christine, a colleague of Canadian POS Corporation commented upon this earlier today when describing to us her experience with a lobster restaurant.
“I was taken there for my birthday and loved it,” explained Christine, “I thought ‘this would be the perfect restaurant for my parents as they love seafood and especially love lobster’. So, before I left the restaurant, I inquired about their gift cards. I was told that they didn’t have gift cards, but they did have gift certificates. I figured that that was fine, since I knew eating at this restaurant would make a great gift.”
Christine goes on to explain, however, how disappointed she was in the “certificate” that was offered to her. “So, this woman pulls out a Christmas card. It was a regular, ordinary Christmas card with nothing about the restaurant printed on it. She then asks me how much I’d like to spend on the certificate. I told her $150 and then she hand wrote it in the card. When she handed it back to me, I was really puzzled.”
“’Aren’t you even going to write down the name of the restaurant?’ I asked, “She proceeded to do so and I even had to ask her to write down the address and everything. It was bizarre. The gift certificate really wasn’t a certificate at all. Even though I was spending a lot of money on a restaurant that I thought was really good and that my parents would love, I thought ‘this gift is going to look really lame’.”
Christine admits that even though she enjoyed the food at the restaurant, the presentation factor of her gift for her parents has soured her on ever buying another “certificate” from the establishment. “The food is great, I have to admit,” she recalls, “But the place has a long way to go in the department of impressing their customers in other ways. It seems like it’s a family-owned restaurant, but that’s no excuse.”
“If you ask me, they definitely need to invest in gift cards,” Christine continued, “They provide so much more of a professional appearance to any business. The way this restaurant is set up, it would be smart for them to even display the gift cards right at the entrance. That way, people would be inclined to pick one up either when they arrive or before they leave. The food is good enough, I’m sure it would work.”
Canadian POS Corporation would like to take this opportunity to thank Christine for her story and for allowing us to transcribe it in our blog today. It highlights the importance of selling gift cards, especially during the holiday season. But, just as importantly, her experience highlights the fact that gift cards give good impressions about the businesses they represent. This particular restaurant gained a new fan – but not one who is likely to purchase a “gift” from them again.